SACRAMENTO DISTRICT REGULATORY BRANCH
GUIDELINES* FOR COMPLIANCE WITH
SECTION 106 OF THE
NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT
OF 1966, AS AMENDED
In addition to standard professional reporting requirements, consultants should address
the following elements in the preparation of cultural resources reports submitted to the Corps of
Engineers Regulatory Branch for compliance with Section 106. It is important that the cultural
resources consultant establish a working relationship with the Regulatory Project Manager,
and/or District Archeologist prior to preparing a cultural resources report. The cultural resources
report must be a stand-alone document and not dependent on other reports associated with a
Project Description. Include a complete and specific project description
identifying purpose, acreage, location, construction methods, construction phasing (if
any), and the elements of project construction, such as pipelines, roads, housing, etc.,
that have potential to affect historic properties. Such elements may include the portions
of the project that will be altered and the parts that will remain unchanged, the visual
impact of the project’s various components, and the location and depth of ground
disturbance that will occur as a result of the project’s implementation.
Define Undertaking. Issuance of the permit is the undertaking. Include a
statement that “since the project would affect waters of the United States, the project
proponent must meet requirements of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and
therefore, is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento
Area of Potential Effect (APE). Define the APE only after discussion with the
Regulatory Project Manager for the project, as this is entirely dependent upon the Corps
determination. Include discussion on viewshed for the built environment, when
appropriate. A viewshed APE may be different than a geographic APE and will require
photographs looking toward and looking from the affected structure(s) as well as an
analysis of how the viewshed APE was determined.
Provide a detailed narrative on the field methodology, including field dates,
the number and/or the names of the people on the survey, as well as the qualifications
of the crew chief, and the field conditions. Also include the rationale for how the field
methodology is appropriate relative to both the project’s potential effects on historic
properties and the field conditions at the time of the inventory.
Identify whether the entire APE was subject to a uniform field methodology,
and, if not, describe where and how variations to the primary field methodology
Specifically address both surface and subsurface identification efforts.
Reference any applicable state and/or Federal standards under which the survey was
Resources identified in field inventories completed more than 2 years old
must be re-examined, and if necessary rerecorded, to determine site integrity and
Describe potential for subsurface archeological remains. Include statement
on how that determination was made, i.e., soils maps, field observation, geotechnical
Maps. A vicinity map, a page-size U.S.G.S map, and a high quality large-scale
map (1 inch = 200 feet) showing the project development, wetland delineation, and
cultural resource locations overlain must be included. Cultural resource locations and
boundaries on the large-scale map are to be drawn to scale and not represented as
Photographs. Include high quality photographs of each cultural resource
identified and also photographs showing the environmental setting where appropriate.
Literature review. Include a records check from the appropriate records
repository that is not over one year old, as well as review of other pertinent material
including, but not limited to gray literature, Sanborn maps, or other sources outside the
records check. Include sources for submerged resources, when appropriate.
Native American consultation. Mandatory in most instances and must be
current. Documentation of contacts must be included. Letters to tribes, both those with
and without Federal recognition, or interested Native American individuals must be
followed by telephone/email or other reasonable attempts to engage responses. Lack
of response must also be noted. Federally Recognized Tribes are sovereign nations
and may require more formal government-to-government consultation if they so wish.
The Corps will direct such consultation.
Determination of Eligibility of a property to the National Register of Historic
Places (NRHP). Unless otherwise determined, consultation with the State Historic
Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)
is the sole responsibility of the Corps. Consultation with the SHPO towards compliance
with Section 106 should begin early in the process. Normally, the SHPO makes the
final decision on eligibility, thus the consultant must be clear whether that has occurred
in the past (provide date of SHPO concurrence letter) or whether it is the consultant’s
Determinations of eligibility:
Must be completed for each prehistoric or historic site, district, building,
structure, or object found within the APE; and
Must include an historic context statement in accordance with National Park
Service, National Register Bulletin 15, and other appropriate National Register bulletins;
Must address whether a cultural resource is or is not eligible for the NRHP
under all four of the criteria, and must consider the issue of integrity of each resource.
A concise, rational argument for, or against eligibility must accompany each
Determination of Effect of the project on cultural resources identified as
For each cultural resource identified as an historic property, the consultant
must discuss the specific project impacts and define the effect within the Advisory
Council on Historic Preservation framework at 36 CFR § 800.4(d), and, where,
appropriate, 36 CFR § 800.5. Describe how much of the site would be affected.
Professional Qualifications. Principal Investigators must meet the Secretary of
the Interior’s Standards for Professional Qualifications (48 FR 44738-44739) in the
discipline germaine to a particular resource type. For example, prehistoric archeologists
should not identify and evaluate built environment resources without the oversight of an
historian or architectural historian, nor should the reverse occur. Provide the
identification and qualifications for those participating in the survey and evaluation of
Report Format. Include a table of contents and section headings that identify
project purpose, project description, literature review, field methodology, and the
remaining categories identified in the paragraphs above, in addition to background
statements and any other information the consultant believes will aid in the
identification, evaluation, and effect determination of the project on historic properties.
Section headings are very important as they assist the reader in locating the appropriate
subjects. Two complete copies of each report must be submitted.
Adversely Affected Historic Properties. A treatment plan and Memorandum of
Agreement will be required for adversely affected historic properties. These are
sometimes combined as a second step in the Section 106 process, subject to advance
SHPO approval. These will be developed by the applicant or consultant and are
submitted through the Corps to the SHPO. Such documents should be provided on
CDs and should be capable of being edited and not overly formatted.
*These are suggested to assist applicants, their consultants, and the Corps in
minimizing time and effort for preparing submittals to the State Historic Preservation
Officer. Reports not meeting the above minimum guidelines will be returned to the
applicant or consultant for revision.